Eight Daily Practices for Positive Prayer

Eight Daily Practices for Positive Prayer

By Rev. Hypatia Hasbrouck
A regular prayer practice can open our hearts to the presence of God

To master positive prayer, we need to be as regular and disciplined in prayer as musicians are in music.

When we are regular and disciplined in prayer, we are more willing to keep our thoughts positive because we realize that since we are in the presence of God at all times and in all places, every thought can be a prayer.

It is far easier to establish conscious prayer habits than most of us think … The following daily prayer pattern has helped many persons establish prayer habits that lead to the practice of the presence of God …

Daily Prayer Pattern

1. Begin each day with private prayer and meditation.

Many persons use a daily devotional booklet for their morning prayer time. Individuals who have an exercise period often begin and end it with brief meditations and say or think short prayers during rest periods. During the morning prayer period, it is particularly wise to impress upon the mind the three modes in which the law of mind action operates—oneness, order, and circulation. Here are appropriate affirmations:

Oneness: My mind is one with the Mind of God.

Order: With Godlike thoughts, I think a Godlike world into being.

Circulation: I send forth only thoughts of good, and good returns in overflowing measure.

Say each one three times to impress it upon the … mind.

It does not matter how long the morning prayer time is; it can be from five minutes to an hour. Most persons find that a period of 20 to 30 minutes starts their day with the right thoughts to prepare them to recognize all the good that surrounds them and to be ready to deal positively with whatever challenges the day brings.

2. Bless every meal.

This step reminds us three times a day (oftener if we have snacks) that God is the source of our good. It also tends to relax us so that we can enjoy and benefit from our food.

If you are in public and do not wish to be conspicuous, a silent “Thank You, God” or similar thought will suffice. However, families have been observed saying table blessings aloud in restaurants all over the world, and no one has objected …

3. Use the phrase “I am” to preface only positive statements.

This practice can make a dramatic change in you and in your life.

The phrase “I am” says, in effect, that we identify ourselves with whatever feeling, thought, characteristic, or condition follows; therefore, we need to be careful to follow “I am” with only the feelings, thoughts, characteristics, and conditions with which we want to be identified and which we want to have continued or reproduced in our characters and experiences.

This step is not particularly easy because we use many expressions which, taken literally, have negative meanings. Many people habitually apologize with the words “I’m sorry,” or preface unwelcome information with the words “I’m afraid that.”

If you would rather not chance feeling sorry or afraid, you can use one of several methods to break the habit of using expressions with negative connotations.

You may want to ask someone with whom you spend a lot of time to call your attention to every such expression so that you can immediately substitute a positive one.

You may want to simply listen to yourself and interrupt every negative expression by changing the words.

You may want to immediately think “Erase” or “Cancel” and then change the words.

You may find it helpful to visualize the negative expression and then imagine that you are drawing a large, black “X” across it … Use any method that is effective for you.

Remember that it is important to find positive ways to say exactly what you mean. For instance, replace “I’m sorry” with “I apologize.” That is, after all, what you mean. Change “I’m afraid you have the wrong number” to “You have the wrong number.” As you find ways to speak more accurately, you stop feeding your subconscious mind with misinformation about yourself. You also cease taking the name of the Lord in vain.

Perhaps the last remark surprises you. According to the Bible, I AM is the only name of God that was directly revealed to anyone. Moses received the revelation along with the commission to free the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. When Moses asked what he should say to the people, God said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14).

So, I AM is the name of God, and every time we use these words we are, in a sense, praying, for we are claiming kinship with God.

4. Speak and act as if you already are as you wish to become.

As Paul observed, in God we live and move and have our being.

Whether we realize it or not, all our words and acts are connected with the creative source and are, therefore, creative. They form our characters and our part in every experience we have.

If, for instance, we wish to have positive relationships with all persons in our lives, we need to speak and act as if we already have such relationships—to speak positively to and about even the most apparently difficult individuals; to treat them with the consideration with which we want them to treat us; to praise them for the good they do; and, above all, to silently affirm that they are wise and kind.

Even while you are forming the habit of filling idle thought time with prayer thoughts, you will begin to welcome such moments and be grateful for them.

5. Dedicate every word and act to the glory of God.

Since we live and move and have our being in God, whatever we are saying or doing, we are saying and doing in the presence of God, and every word or act is a kind of prayer.

If we consciously dedicate every word and act to the glory of God, we may find that there are some words and acts that we cannot so dedicate. We know then that we need to eliminate them …

6. Fill idle thought time with affirmations, memorized prayers, and brief meditations.

This step effectively prevents thoughts about unpleasant matters from taking over our minds.

As we practice this step, we will notice that it can reduce the number of annoying situations with which we must deal.

For instance, suppose someone keeps you waiting beyond the appointed time; rather than thinking about the inconvenience, or worrying about what might have happened to the other person, or becoming angry, think prayer thoughts.

When the person arrives, you will be calm and pleasant, or if (as rarely happens) there really is an emergency, you will be in a mental condition that allows you to deal with it.

Even while you are forming the habit of filling idle thought time with prayer thoughts, you will begin to welcome such moments and be grateful for them.

7. Ignore the speck in your brother’s or sister’s eye.

In Matthew Chapter 7, Jesus said quite clearly that our main business is to reform ourselves, not other persons.

If, throughout the day, we must deal with individuals who make negative remarks or behave unkindly or irresponsibly, we need to monitor our thoughts, words, and acts to be sure that we are not allowing other persons to determine how we think, speak, and behave.

The positive prayer response to the apparently negative words and acts of others is the silent use of denials and affirmations.

For instance, if someone loses his or her temper, silently deny with these words that this display of temper has the power to disturb you: “(John’s) temper is powerless to take or keep my good from me.” Then silently affirm: I am poised and centered, and you are poised and centered in the peace of God.

You will find that you will not react to the display of temper, and you will be able to remain calm.

8. End each day with private prayer.

We can use any prayers we wish to close the day, but the last prayers should always include thanksgiving for all the good the day has brought and for all the opportunities to learn and grow that we have experienced.

It is well, also, to use again the three affirmations for oneness, order, and circulation suggested earlier to fix them firmly in the subconscious memory bank.

In addition, we need to place concern about the welfare of others into God’s care. A good way to conclude a day of prayer is to affirm that you and everyone for whom you pray are surrounded by God’s light and love and protected by God’s presence.

As you practice the daily prayer pattern, the quality of your life will improve, for your mind will become aligned with the creative activity of God-Mind.

You will be cooperating with the law of mind action … and you will be habitually thinking the kinds of thoughts you wish to have manifest in your life.

You will become progressively more open to receive and act upon divine ideas that come to you so that more good manifests in your body and circumstances.